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Today's News

  • Public record for 2/17/10 edition

    Editor’s Note: This information is taken from open court records and is a matter of public record.

    The listings are complete. The newspaper, as a matter of fairness, will not honor requests to omit any listing. 

    For more information on this column or questions, call 236-5178, ext. 213.

    District Court

    These sentences were recorded in June in the Galax General District Court Office, Galax. Sentences may be appealed:

    Donald Lee Phillips of Galax, guilty of appearing intoxicated in public; pay $25 fine and $81 costs.

  • Grayson deputy charged with sex crime involving minor

    INDEPENDENCE ee* A Grayson County deputy has been charged with sexual intercourse with a minor under 13 and is being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail with no bond.

    According to Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan, former Sgt. Shane Allan Widner, 33, of Independence, was arrested and charged last Wednesday after a Virginia State Police Investigation.

    The Grayson County Department of Social Services received the initial complaint from an unknown person about alleged sexual misconduct against a member of the sheriff's department.

  • Community comp plan meetings postponed

    HILLSVILLE — All community meetings and focus groups scheduled as a part of the Carroll comprehensive plan update have been postponed due to winter weather, according to Assistant Administrator Ronald Newman.

    Meetings for citizens to give input for the planning document Feb. 1 - 4 will be rescheduled. Newman said that county officials wanted to wait for dates where the snowfall that Carroll received over the weekend wouldn't impact attendance and participation. 

    The new schedule for the meetings have not yet been set.

  • Local girl meets Miley Cyrus

    Chris Semones of Galax wasn't going crazy when he stood on his chair at work, belted Miley Cyrus' song “The Climb” at the top of his lungs into the phone and started jumping up and down.

    Semones surprised his 7-year-old daughter Kaitland with Miley Cyrus concert tickets and a chance to meet the star in November at the Greensboro Coliseum, after he won a contest on radio station 107.5 KZL.

    Semones, who works at the Results call center in Galax, said his sister heard the announcement for the contest on the radio and called him.

  • Legislators inch closer to deal with utility

    RICHMOND -- Appalachian Power Co. would suspend an interim rate charge it began collecting in December if the General Assembly passes emergency legislation proposed Wednesday.

    The proposal outlined before a state legislative commission represents a compromise by Appalachian after hearing from Southwest Virginia lawmakers who have been besieged with constituent complaints about skyrocketing electric bills. Several legislators have responded to the complaints by filing bills intended to limit Appalachian's ability to increase rates.

  • Independence woman killed in accident

    INDEPENDENCE ee* An Independence woman was killed Wednesday afternoon after her vehicle was struck on U.S. 58.

    Virginia State Trooper Jerry Sowers said in his accident report that Darlous Exura Jones, 74, pulled out of a driveway onto 58 around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

    Jones' vehicle was struck by a 1995 GMC Jimmy, driven by Martha Elizabeth Funk, 55, of Troutdale.

    According to the report, Funk was traveling west on 58 when the two vehicles collided, sending both off the left side of the road and through a fence.

  • Antlers cost vendor dearly

    HILLSVILLE — A Memorial Day flea market vendor locked proverbial horns with Virginia authorities over the sale of animal parts and ended up paying the price in court, according to Carroll's commonwealth's attorney.

    A Department of Game and Inland Fisheries special agent, Jay Dowdy, launched an investigation of a Galliopis, Ohio, man named Barry L. Williams after receiving a tip the vendor had sold antlers in Hillsville in the fall of 2008, Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Goad reports.

    Dowdy obtained a cell phone number and called the suspect.

  • Police facing cuts

    A nearly $30,000 drop in this year's fiscal budget at the Galax Police Department could mean leaving positions unfilled, cutting programs or even cutting staff — a last resort — if state budget cuts continue to reduce aid to the department, said Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.

  • Nelson sentenced for picking up teen on MySpace

    ROANOKE — He was 38. She was 15.

    Their relationship started in cyberspace but quickly turned physical.

    Dewey Edward Nelson, a Hillsville man who used the name "Jolly Rancha" on MySpace, was held up by federal prosecutors Thursday as a warning about the dangers of the online world.

    "Take this issue seriously," Tim Heaphy, U.S. attorney for the Western

    District of Virginia, urged parents in a press conference held immediately after a federal court hearing in which Nelson was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

  • Honey Money

    Grant money has been awarded to help offset recent losses to area beekeepers and help expand local hives.

    Bernie Bradley of Elk Creek, president of the Mountain Empire Beekeepers Association, said $125,000 in Virginia Tobacco Commission grant money has been awarded to assist Southwest Virginia Region beekeepers.

    Last year, the commission gave the association $24,000, but Bradley said that money was gone in 10 days.